Conceptions of moral, social-conventional, and personal events among Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong

Yuk Ping Jenny YAU-CHAN, Judith G. SMETANA

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89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sixty-one Chinese preschoolers from Hong Kong at 2 ages (Ms= 4.36 and 6.00 years) were interviewed about familiar moral, social-conventional, and personal events. Children treated personal events as distinct from moral obligations and conventional regulations. Children judged the child as deciding personal issues, based on personal choice justifications, whereas children judged parents as deciding moral and conventional issues. With age, children granted increased decision-making power to the child. In contrast, children viewed moral transgressions as more serious, generalizably wrong, and wrong independent of authority than other events, based on welfare and fairness. Punishment-avoidance justifications for conventional events decreased with age, whereas conventional justifications increased. Young Chinese preschool children make increasingly differentiated judgments about their social world. Copyright © 2003 by the Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-658
JournalChild Development
Volume74
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2003

Citation

Yau, J., & Smetana, J. G. (2003). Conceptions of moral, social-conventional, and personal events among Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong. Child Development, 74(3), 647-658.

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